The Ottumwa Courier

January 17, 2013

Water Works buys construction building

CHELSEA DAVIS
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — Ottumwa Water Works and Hydro has secured a new building for storage and has plans to tear down its 109-year-old treatment plant building this year.

Last week, Grooms and Co. Construction Inc. sold its building at 505 Gateway Drive to Water Works for $500,000.

“We’ve been trying to figure out what to do with a replacement building for our old treatment plant,” said Water Works general manager Mike Heffernan.

The building was built in 1904 and was used until around 1960, Heffernan said. Since then, it’s been used for storage of supplies, valves, fire hydrants, a boom truck and more.

“The building is in very poor condition,” he said. “It was originally evaluated in 1993, and it was suggested it be removed and replaced at that time, but I’m guessing it didn’t happen because of the 1993 flood and a lack of funding.”

Last June’s storm also damaged the building, and the Water Works board has since been looking at cost assessments to build a new building, which would have hit Water Works with a $1.1 million bill.

“So this opportunity came along with the Grooms building that we could purchase for half of that,” he said. “It’s close by, and it’s a very solid building. It made it pretty convenient for us.”

Sometime this year, Water Works will raze the old treatment plant building, which is located next to the viaduct.